I wonder how that could be, January, but it is, and already nearly a week into it too.
I have been working on To Build a Nation, the eighth book in the Earth’s Survivors series. I have about 31 thousand words. I will be back on it on Monday, I am taking the weekend to catch up on all of the things that were neglected while I worked on it this week.
It’s cold here, like teens, and we got quite a bit of snow mixed with rain overnight, so a lot of branches are hanging low, and since it has stayed cold the majority of this day they have remained bent over to the ground. Not snapped, not dead, but hanging on for a thaw. This winter has been an oddball one, cold, warm, freezing, 60 degrees. Normally we are in the low 30, high twenties and the season has steadied out by now.
The cats don’t know what to make of it either.
I know what to make of it, stay inside, unless I have to make a trip to the mailbox that is.
I will leave you with some free reading material from one of my books, Base one, the second book in the Hay Vida series.
Copyright 2018 Dell Sweet all rights reserved.
Cover Art © Copyright 2018 Dell Sweet
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This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living person’s places, situations or events is purely coincidental.
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Karia Simmons had called on the radio some fifteen minutes earlier to let them know her party was on the way. The whole camp was waiting, including Jerrica and Terrica. Even Jefferson, Tom, Campbell and Beckstead who had had their day all planned out were hanging around waiting for the newcomers to come into camp. It seemed everyone had changed their plans to wait.
“You waiting also?” Michael had asked Jerrica as she wandered by him.
She nodded solemnly. “I want to see the new kids.”
“Might not be any new kids,” Michael told her.
“Oh,” Jerrica said. She looked worried for a few seconds. “Tellie said there would.”
Tellie meant Terrica, her constant companion and twin sister. She was a God to her, because she seemed to know so many things that Jerrica didn’t.
“Well, if Tellie says so,” Michael allowed.
Jerrica nodded. “She’s really smart.”
“She is. Most girls are,” Michael said seriously.
“All of us are,” Petra said leaning in. She planted a kiss on her cheek making Jerrica giggle.
The dog wandered by looking for handouts. He seemed a little put out that he wasn’t getting all the handouts he felt he deserved. He stopped in his wandering, looked towards the trail, stiffened his posture and gave a little woof. He turned and looked at Michael, his lower lip pulled back slightly from his bottom teeth, his head tilted at an angle as if to ask, did you hear that?
Michael patted his leg. The dog wagged his tail; came over to Michael allowed his hand to fall on his back and scratch there, but kept his attention focused on the trail in the near distance. Michael scratched him under the chin too, patted his head and told him he was a good dog. He woofed once more and then sat down; content to wait along with everyone else.
A few minutes later the sounds of the transports came to Michael’s ears as well. The dog’s ears were perked now his body tense with excitement.
“Good dog,” Michael said and patted his head once more. “Well,” he said to the others close by, “Looks like our company is almost here.”
A half minute later three transports came into view running on the side of the trail. Michael raised his radio from his side. “That’s you then, Karia?”
The lead transport flashed its lights and then set off on a diagonal across the field headed for the small complex of buildings where Michael and the others waited.
“It is, Michael,” Karia answered. Her voice was loud and clear from the radio’s small speaker; seeming to jump out into the air.
The transports pulled up onto a broken section of concrete that fronted what was left of the garage and shut down. Tom, Jane, Ash and several others walked across to the transports as they rolled to a stop.
Michael stood, brushed imaginary dust from the front of his jump suit and then pulled Petra to her feet. He stooped down, picked up Jerrica and settled her onto his shoulders. The dog followed them as they walked over, completely unlike his usual exuberant self. He stayed at Michael’s side taking small; measured steps to match his speed.
Michael looked around him: Everyone was carrying a weapon in their holster over their shoulder or both. No one was really expecting trouble, but after the past few weeks no one was taking any chances. Even Phipps, who had never handled a gun, wore a shoulder holster with what looked like a huge rubber gripped laser pistol, something straight out of a movie; flat beige camouflage paint black rubber grips and a heavy duty nylon webbed holster. She wore a smile on her face; maybe to offset the pistol, Michael thought. Petra settled Terrica on one hip and she and Jerrica began jabbering back and forth in their own baby shorthand talk
The front driver’s door of the lead transport opened and a tall; red-haired woman stepped out onto the cracked and buckled pavement. The other doors opened and the rest of the party began to climb out.
“Karia,” Michael asked?
“Michael,” Karia Simmons responded with a smile. They both nodded and then shook hands heartily.
Another tall woman, almost as tall as Karia herself stepped up next to her. “This is my companion, Nine,” Karia said.
Ash, Petra and Phipps stepped forward.
Nine smiled and took their offered hands, “Nine… To pretty much everyone,” She said.
It took a few minutes to introduce everyone and then they made their way to the tables. There were three small children about the same age as Terrica and Jerrica accompanied by an older woman. She took a seat next to Q-8 where she had settled Terrica and Jerrica to keep the two smaller children out of the way.
“Who is you?” a blonde haired little boy asked Q-8. “I’m Ben,” he smiled.
Q-8 smiled back, “I’m Q-8,” she told him. “This is Jerrica, and this is Terrica.”
The little boy looked suspiciously at Terrica and Jerrica. Probably at the age where he didn’t quite trust little girls yet, Q-8 thought. He smiled shyly at both.
“I’m Jessica, Q-8,” the older woman told Q-8. She turned to the other two children who were trying to hide behind her. “And this is Mark; and this little lady is Rain.”
Q-8 smiled. “Hello, Mark. Hello, Rain. Rain is such a pretty name.”
“My mom told it to me,” The little girl said seriously. She fixed her eyes on Terrica. “I got some dolls. You got some?”
Terrica turned and pointed at the building behind her. “I got some. I got a lot. Are you going to live with us?”
Rain shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know ’cause nobody told me, ’cause I’m just a kid.”
Both Jerrica and Terrica solemnly nodded their heads.
Rain got up, crossed the short distance, climbed up on the seat next to them and sat down.
The other couple from the third transport had made their way over to the table. They were young, Michael thought. He reminded himself how much everything had changed though; how mature eighteen was now how actual age didn’t have as much to do with life as it once had.
As Michael shook hands he realized he had been wrong. David, the young man, was certainly young, but the woman, Arlene, was much older. Maybe in her early thirties. Again he reminded himself that it didn’t matter. The entire camp was bubbling over with conversation. Phipps, Ash, Yates and Ann began serving breakfast to the newcomers. The hum of conversation dropped lower as the camp began to settle down to eat.
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